Defending Native Plants and Animals | Cal Parks

Defending Native Plants and Animals


California’s natural beauty is world-renowned. Our state parks preserve and protect these resources for future generations.

  • California’s state park system encompasses nearly 1.6 million acres in 280 state parks, and provides reserves for protection of native plant communities and wildlife in a natural landscape.
  • Through the preservation of these lands, state parks have supported protected habitats and species endemic to a broad range of California landscapes, including oak woodlands, grasslands, coastline, wetlands, and redwood forests.
  • Resource management projects within the state parks support restoration and preservation of our natural resources. Since 1990, $31,650,000 has funded 665 projects in 134 parks.

State parks contain, or compose part of, most of California’s most recognized and valuable natural resources.

  • California has the largest number of rare plants and animals of any state in the nation.
  • The state parks system protects rare habitat types in California, such as coastal prairie, valley oak woodlands and Mendocino pygmy cypress forest.

Protecting and preserving World Heritage Sites which include:

  • Redwood National and State Parks represent a cooperative management effort of the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Prairie Creek, along with Del Norte Coast, Jeddah Smith, and the National Park Service's Redwood National Park, are managed cooperatively by the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation. These parks make up 45 percent of all the old-growth redwood forest remaining in California.
  • The park contains some of the tallest and oldest known trees in the world. Rich intertidal, marine and freshwater stream flora and fauna are also present in the two distinctive physiographic environments of coastline and coastal mountains that include the old growth forest and stream communities.

And there are 36 National Natural Landmark sites located within California:

  • Año Nuevo State Reserve
  • Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
  • Emerald Bay State Park
  • McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park
  • Mount Diablo State Park
  • Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
  • Pygmy Forest at Van Damme State Park
  • Tijuana River Estuary, Border Fields State Park
  • Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
  • Providence Mountains State Recreational Area (Mitchel Caverns)

And Biosphere Reserves include:

  • The Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve, which includes several state parks in the Bay Area, is a partnership of 13 protected areas in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.
  • The California Coast Ranges Biosphere Reserve that includes Redwood National and State Parks.
  • The Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve. This includes Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, as well as extensive areas under federal jurisdiction and a UC research center.

Examples in state parks include:

  • Caswell Memorial State Park - Riparian Brush Rabbit Sylvilagus bachmani riparius
  • Mount Diablo State Park - Mt. Diablo bird's-beak Cordylanthus nidularius
  • Providence Mountains State Recreation Area -  Mitchell Caverns Niptus Beetle (Niptus arcanus) and Mitchell Cavern Pseudoscorpion (Archeolarca aalbuip)
  • Coast redwood, (Sequoia sempervirens), 379.3 feet tall in the Redwood National and State Park.




of California's 770 native wildlife species are found nowhere else.


​​​​​​of California's 6,300 plant species are found nowhere else.